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How to Clean and Care for a Leather Jacket

Most articles of clothing can be cleaned in a washing machine. Shirts, socks, underwear — it's nearly effortless to simply throw them in and the let the machine work for you. Not all types of clothing can be cleaned with such ease. There's an article of clothing that requires an extra level of attention while cleaning: the leather jacket.


Leather jackets are often expensive. Therefore, you will likely go to greater lengths to know how to clean a leather jacket. The articles of clothing mentioned before will clean nicely in a washing machine. However, a leather jacket should not be thrown into a washing machine. Doing so might discolor the jacket. The chemicals in laundry detergent can not only discolor the leather but it can also dry out the fabric of the jacket.

Instead of laundry detergent, let's talk about some cleaning supplies that should actually be used.

Cleaning Supplies

There are a variety of supplies an owner should keep around. These include:

  • Soft bristled brush
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Soft cloth
  • Leather cleaner solution

It's important to note that you don’t have to use both the liquid dish soap and the leather cleaner solution. You can use one or the other.

Using liquid dish soap

Let's talk first about cleaning with liquid dish soap. Take a bowl and fill it with warm water. Then, mix some liquid dish soap. This will create a mild soap solution. It's better to directly apply this solution instead of only the dish soap. This minimizes the chance of harming the jacket with the chemicals in the dish soap.

Once you have a soap solution it's time to dip in the soft cloth. The cloth should not be soaking wet. This is because we don't want the soap solution to saturate the leather. Apply the dampened cloth to the leather jacket.

Wiping the jacket should not necessarily be rough. We don't want to damage the jacket. Instead, applying soft pressure and wipe in a circular motion. You may switch the direction of the circular motion between clockwise and counter-clockwise.

Each area should be promptly dried with a dry part of the cloth. It's best not to leave any standing water or solution on the jacket. Doing so might result in the jacket developing water spots.

Using leather cleaner solution

There are numerous products available specifically for cleaning leather jackets. These products come in different forms. Some are available in a spray bottle. Some are available in a liquid bottle. Others are more like creams. They all share the same outcome which is to clean a leather jacket.

Because there are a variety of jacket cleaning products it's best to read the instructions for each. While wiping the jacket, you should clean in the same circular motion as described before.

Proper storage​​​​

It's crucial to know how to care for a leather jacket. Leather jackets should be stored in a cold, dark place. Keeping a leather jacket in sunlight will result in discoloration. These jackets also need air. Therefore, storing in a box or plastic is not a good idea. The lack of air may cause discoloration. Leather jackets should be kept on a wide padded hangar. The jackets may also be stored in plastic only if there are holes for the jacket to breathe.

Professional cleaning

Another option is to get your leather jacket professionally cleaned. We can facilitate the cleaning of your jacket as part of our dry cleaning services. Getting it cleaned by professionals guarantees it will get cleaned the right way. This is a great option for those not used to leather jacket cleaning. Contact us today to learn more.